• Introduction

    Surface and ocean temperatures, as well as carbon dioxide levels, are at an all-time high. The ice at both of Earth’s poles is melting, resulting in rising global sea levels. Evidence also suggests that higher ocean temperatures are causing a greater incidence of tropical storms. Warmer seas are also killing corals.

    Despite the need for professionals working on this key global issue, breaking into the field is a challenge. You need practical experience to gain a junior position as a climate research associate, renewable energy engineer, or environmental economist.

    Employers are looking for candidates who have real work experience in an intercultural context. Our Climate Crisis and Clean Energy program provides just this.

     

    Get ready to:

    • understand key issues such as challenges to implementing renewable energy technologies around the world, deforestation and reforestation, coral bleaching, and management of floods, wildfires, and tropical storms
    • upskill yourself in community engagement, monitoring and evaluation, communication and advocacy, project management, and finance and fundraising
    • analyze local initiatives related to the climate crisis and gain insights into on-the-ground challenges
    • learn best practices and adapt your approach based on contextual analysis during a field trip abroad.

    Start date: December 1st

    UR Impact Academy is now offering a digital program

    From December 1st, join us in completing the UR Impact Academy program, digitally! Complete the online component only, with no requirement to book or complete your international fieldwork. We’re offering you total flexibility

    view program details

    The program

    The UR Impact Academy program comprises of two comprehensive but flexible parts; online courses and international fieldwork. Complete 8 online courses in a timeframe suitable to you, and then undertake 2–4 weeks of fieldwork in a chosen international location.

    The self-paced online courses prepare you with the theory and knowledge necessary to be successful in the fieldwork component. The courses include a combination of frameworks, toolkits, video lectures and interviews, and assessments.

    Discussion with peers in your cohort is also facilitated through forums and webinars. The second part of the program, international fieldwork, compromises an intense schedule of masterclasses, site visits, fieldwork, and a final project. In total, you will have exposure to 11 varying environments.

    Through this comprehensive and immersive experience, you will come away with a deep understanding of best practice, context and practicalities, enabling you to transform a community, or natural environment through effective project work.

    This program directly answers the need of purpose-driven organizations: employees with a deep understanding of best practice, context and the practicalities of delivering effective projects.

    Climate Crisis and Clean Energy career paths

    Career paths and jobs in sustainable development are growing quickly.
    Explore the different career paths specific to your subject area below, and search through thousands of available jobs in your sector.

    • Climate Crisis and Clean Energy

    Close

    Who is this program for?

    The Climate Crisis and Clean Energy program is for anyone looking to gain the skills needed to advance their career in this field, and deepen their understanding of the climate crisis and renewable energy solutions.

    Career starter

    Undergraduate and graduate students studying sociology, economics, political science, international relations or development, law, environmental science, meteorology, engineering, or related fields.

    Career switcher

    Practitioners in unrelated fields who want a holistic overview of the climate crisis and possible solutions.

    Career advancer

    Experienced professionals working in a range of fields where the climate crisis affects their daily tasks.

    Gain the experience needed to contribute meaningfully to averting the climate crisis.
  • Curriculum

    The UR Impact Academy program provides insight into on-the-ground realities of sustainable development.
    It directly answers the need expressed by employers in purpose-driven organizations: that candidates gain first-hand experience of the cultural, political, logistical and economic issues that impede development.

    The UR Impact Academy is powered by GVI, an experiential education organization that has been in operation for over 20 years. Guided by the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and the development goals of local communities, its programs seek to address the greatest challenges in development today.

    Start date: December 1st

    UR Impact Academy is now offering a digital program

    From December 1st, join us in completing the UR Impact Academy program, digitally! Complete the online component only, with no requirement to book or complete your international fieldwork. We’re offering you total flexibility

    view program details

    Online courses

    Develop practical skills and learn how to apply unique frameworks, as you work through the 8 online courses of the program. Our online courses integrate video lectures and interviews, practical toolkits and frameworks, as well as self-assessments and project assignments. There are also opportunities for collaborative learning through discussion forums and webinars.

    How you will advance

    The following courses contribute to your learning journey prior to your international fieldwork.

    Course 1 | Context Analysis and Practice

    The Context Analysis and Practice online course equips you with a unique toolkit that will enable you to analyze local contexts and make sense of the on-the-ground realities of development and conservation work. This toolkit is designed to be a practical set of directions and guiding questions, and will be used during your international fieldwork.

    Takeaways

    • Learn how political, social, economic and other dimensions of context shape the environment and circumstances within which you will work.
    • Explore macro-micro links: how policies, institutions, various levels of government and organizations affect development work in multiple ways.
    • Discover how context analysis can help facilitate effective development interventions and better program design.

    Course 2 | Subject Area Foundations

    The Subject Area Foundations online course equips you with an understanding of key concepts, terminology, and tools to analyze a system. You will discover the history and evolution of sustainable development and get a comprehensive yet concise understanding of your subject area’s global challenges.

    Takeaways

    • Discover the history and evolution of sustainable development, while getting to grips with key concepts and terminology.
    • Explore the history and evolution of your subject area, and get up to speed with current global challenges.
    • Explore real-world case studies illustrating how local context impacts development projects and programs.

    Course 3 | Community Engagement

    The Community Engagement online course equips you with the tools to analyze stakeholders, engage with local communities and manage community-based projects. You will learn about community engagement and the core values, principles and activities that support effective programs.

    Takeaways

    • Learn how to engage communities at different levels using a variety of techniques.
    • Dive deep into culture and get to grips with key concepts, terminology and the fundamentals of cultural identities, including exploring your own cultural identity.
    • Discover common practices in Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) and how to identify community assets using an appreciative inquiry process and capacity inventory toolkit.

    Course 4 | Strategy, Monitoring and Evaluation

    The Strategy, Monitoring and Evaluation online course equips you with the tools to analyze environments, formulate strategies and develop outcomes-based approaches to design and manage programs. You will be introduced to the key concepts, terminology and the fundamentals of strategy, and monitoring and evaluation.

    Takeaways

    • Learn how to develop a theory of change and create a visual representation of your initiative’s inputs, activities, outputs, and expected outcomes.
    • Explore cutting-edge uses of big data in sustainable development.
    • Learn how to write a terms of reference and conduct a formal evaluation to measure whether impact has actually been achieved.

    Course 5 | Communication and Advocacy

    The Communication and Advocacy online course equips you with the tools and techniques to identify target audiences or partners, develop compelling messaging and select appropriate communication methods. You will learn about communication that enables people (particularly vulnerable groups) to participate in shaping decisions that affect their lives, and explore the key ethical issues you might face when working with communities.

    Takeaways

    • Explore how communication can be used to start social movements, create behavior change or influence policy.
    • Apply a practical guide to developing effective partnerships from alliances to networks.
    • Learn how to actively promote a cause you care about.

    Course 6 | Project Management and Delivery

    The Project Management and Delivery online course equips you with the tools to analyze project risks, develop project plans, and manage project resources. You will learn key principles and methods for managing projects in global development environments in order to overcome common implementation challenges.

    Takeaways

    • Get to grips with the four stages of a project life cycle and learn essential techniques and tips for managing each phase of a project.
    • Learn how to apply common tools for managing time (gantt charts) and resources (outcomes-based budgets).
    • Discover collaborative, decentralized, adaptive management principles required for managing projects in complex environments.

    Course 7 | Finance and Fundraising

    The Finance and Fundraising online course equips you with the tools to analyze sources of finance, write financial proposals, and implement appropriate governance processes. You will be introduced to key concepts and frameworks that even beginners to finance can use to plan for financial sustainability.

    Takeaways

    • Explore how the development finance landscape has changed over the past decade.
    • Dive deep into five different financial mechanisms from traditional philanthropic grants to innovative crowdfunding platforms.
    • Learn how to get started when looking for funding, the funding process and the common elements in a fundraising proposal.

    Course 8 | Best Practices and Innovation

    The Best Practices and Innovation online course showcases the latest practices and approaches in sustainable development that are demonstrating results and impact. You will learn how a “fit” approach beats “best practice” and how to adapt practices to different contexts. You will be introduced to behavioral science, systems innovation, human-centered design, impact investing and social entrepreneurship.

    Takeaways

    • Learn about behavior science and the ethics of influence and choice architecture.
    • Discover the key mindsets and four key phases of human-centered design (HCD).
    • Get to grips with the core characteristics of impact investing and social entrepreneurship.

    International fieldwork

    Gain unique experience in global development through an intense series of masterclasses,
    site visits, fieldwork, and a final project with an organizational partner.

    Masterclasses

    Five speakers

    The masterclasses allow you to quickly develop deep insight into the on-the-ground realities of international development. You’ll hear first-person accounts from senior leaders in NGOs, government and social enterprises.

    You’ll be provided with varied exposure to a broad range of local practitioner and beneficiary perspectives. You will also hear diverse points-of-view that highlight how local factors, such as economic, cultural, financial, political, religious, technological or geographical have influenced or shaped the implementation of development projects in your chosen location.

    Examples of masterclasses:

    • The head of disaster management at a Thai NGO delivers a masterclass entitled “The impact of climate change on local Thai communities.
    • The former South African governmental head of educational policy delivers a masterclass entitled “The South African education system: challenges and opportunities.” 
    • A Fiji conservationist delivers a masterclass entitled “Plastic pollution: local views and behaviors.
    • A Peruvian social enterprise co-founder delivers a masterclass entitled “The community sharing economic model.”

    Site visits

    Five organizations & analysis

    The site visits provide you with diverse first-hand experience of the factors which impact programs. Each site visit is a one or two day analysis of the contextual adaptations of a partner organization.

    These site visits are intense, and will ensure you get hands-on experience in the subject area you’ve chosen. You will immerse yourself in a variety of local organizational contexts to observe, analyze, engage and conduct informal interviews.

    Examples of site visits:

    • Visit a local market in Costa Rica and observe informal traders and microenterprises. Interview traders and customers.
    • Travel to a small local fishing harbor in Ghana. Analyze the physical environment and stakeholders. 
    • Go to a local school in Costa Rica and observe the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) infrastructures in place and the behaviors of students.
    • Visit projects run by a local Ghanian NGO sports program for kids. Hear their views on education, their challenges and their goals.

    Final project

    One organization & project

    Demonstrate your knowledge and skills through developing a portfolio of work, which will be available to potential employers. This project ties all your program knowledge together.

    Based on your prior education and level of experience, three project levels are available:

    BASIC:
    Conduct a holistic analysis identifying important contextual factors for an organization.

    INTERMEDIATE:
    Apply the principles of a specific foundational course (for example finance and fundraising) to a brief provided by the organization.

    ADVANCED:
    Conduct an in-depth critique and analysis of a specific aspect (for example monitoring and evaluation) of the organization.

    Examples of final projects:

    • Investigate how Costa Rica works with the United Nations to bring solar panels to rural communities. 
    • Investigate the barriers experienced by a healthcare nonprofit in Peru when looking to expand their project of mobile wellness clinics for primary schools.
    • Analyze how a Costa Rican business can address gender-based violence for their employees.
    • Analyze the work done in Thailand by the traditional elephant-keeping community in partnership with international funders to change their economic model from elephant tourism to ecotourism.

    What participants will learn

    • Participants will learn that the success of development or conservation initiatives is determined by how well the realities on the ground are understood and managed.
    • Participants will see first-hand how external factors affect initiatives, how to identify the risks, and how to prevent or manage them to ensure successful implementation.
    • Participants take part in experiential learning opportunities across a broad range of organizations.
    • Participants gain access to career services including mock interviews, portfolio reviews, recruiting, soft-skills training, and more to help equip them for success in the job search.
    Want to know more about our curriculum?

    Join a webinar. It’s absolutely free. Senior members of our team will discuss how our curriculum was developed to provide candidates with the specific competencies required by employers in the sustainable development and conservation sectors.

  • Launch your career with purpose

    Career paths

    Explore major jobs and careers.
    Explore career paths

    Find a job

    Search our job board.
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    Career services

    Develop your career.
    Career services

    Example careers

    Sample careers and jobs this program will prepare you for in climate crisis and clean energy:

    • Health and Safety Analyst
    • Social and Environmental Analyst
    • Program Officer
    • Program Analyst
    • Climate Finance Consultant
    • National Consultant: Green Climate
    • Evaluation Team Leader
    • Environmental Manager
    • Environment Officer
    • Country Coordination Specialist
    • Senior Advisor
    • Coordinator
    • Program Director
    • Chief Technical Advisor

    Is this program for you?

    Interested, but not sure if this program is for you? Chat to one of our career coaches.

    They specialize in the social impact and conservation sectors and will help you match your interests, strengths, and aspirations with a specific subject area.

  • Admission process

    How to enroll

    Admissions call

    Speak to an enrollment manager
    at (804) 533-2505

    Payment

    Financing and flexible payment plans are available. Speak to our enrollment team.

    Admissions requirements

    • You must be at least 18 years of age or older.
    • You need to demonstrate your readiness for the program if you do not have an associate or bachelor's degree. Strong candidates demonstrate self-awareness, motivation, time management, and career direction. We recommend you speak to an enrollment manager for more details.
    • You must submit a complete medical form, police or background check and identification documents (post enrollment).
    • If English is not your native language, you will need to score a minimum of 80 for your internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL iBT).

    Before your start date, if relevant, you must also submit your official academic transcript for your undergraduate degree.
    This allows our instructors to assess your academic history and provide personalized support.

  • What's included

    Included

    • Academic support includes access to instructors/facilitators via office hours, live webinars with industry experts, and all required learning materials.
    • Participant support includes a dedicated coach, pre-program goal setting call, response to technical and administrative queries within 48 hours.
    • Field trip support includes 24-hour emergency phone, and pre-departure expectations call.
    • Country support includes airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated), transport to experiential learning activities, curated experiences, and access to project partners and community navigators.
    • Residential support includes housing and meals while completing the fieldwork component (excluding the US fieldwork location), broadband internet, residential staff, and 24-hour in-country support.
    • Career support includes access to a career advisor, career materials and resources, and the latest career opportunities.
    • Alumni support includes access to alumni services and discounts.

    Excluded

    • Participants are required to have their own device (laptop) and headset to participate in online courses.
    • Additional supplementary recommended reading material is at the discretion for participants to purchase.
    • Flights, international and domestic airport taxes, and visa costs (where necessary) are not included.
    • Medical and travel insurance are not included.
    • Extra local excursions, additional drinks and gratuities, personal items and toiletries are not included.
    • Police or background checks (where required) are not included.
  • Dates & Financing

    Online courses
    Duration: 2, 8 or 16 weeks | Starts 1st of each month
    International fieldwork
    Duration: 2 or 4 weeks | Starts every Saturday
    Financing & flexibility
    Talk to our enrolment team about financing options, flexible payment plans and adjustable schedules.